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Former Reading FC forward issues somewhat surprising insight into life working with Steve Coppell

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The 2005/06 season is a league campaign that will live long in the memory for plenty of Reading supporters. 

It was the year where the Royals won promotion into the Premier League for the first time in their history, and they did it in clinical fashion.

The Berkshire-based side finished the season on 106 points, which is a record that still stands to this very day.

Steve Coppell remains a hugely popular figure at the Madejski Stadium, and one of his player’s from that title-winning squad has issued an insight into the working relationship they had together.

In a recent podcast with Ady Williams on BBC Berkshire, Dave Kitson revealed that he had just four in-depth conversations with the Reading boss in his time with the club.

“When I first got there, Steve said ‘Do you need an arm round the shoulder or do you need me to shout at you?’, and I just said leave me alone – and he did.

“I think we had about four or five conversations, otherwise it was just ‘good morning’ and that was fine with me.”

The 39-year-old went on to admit that he was keen to focus on his performances on the pitch himself, rather than consult his manager at the time.

Kitson insisted that this worked well for both him and Coppell though, which will be pleasing to hear for the Madejski Stadium faithful.

“I don’t need you (Coppell) to tell me that I played badly, but if you leave me alone, 9.99 times out of ten, I will play well. Just leave me alone and let me get on with it.

“I know what to do, I’m not an idiot. That worked for me and Steve fantastically well. I was one less person for him to worry about, one less voice to get into my head and distract me.”

The Verdict: 

It’s an interesting one.

From the outside looking in, you would have thought that there would have been a tight-knit relationship between the players and the manager in that Reading squad.

But it clearly worked as Reading were hugely impressive in the 2005/06 season, and I would be surprised if their points record was broken in the next few seasons.

Editorial Assistant at Snack Media, writing for Football League World on a regular basis! Sports Journalism graduate from Southampton Solent University.

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